Leonard Ellis (1867 to 16th December 1914)


Here I am in Scarborough on the corner of two streets. On Wednesday 16th December 1914 Scarborough was under bombardment from German ships. Leonard was a porter in his mid-forties and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He worked at Clare and Hunt chemist shop and was outside when he was hit by a bomb or the effects of one. It had been fired from one of many German ships in the sea which is about 50m away.


He was killed at about 8am and there's a plaque in memory of him as he was the first civilian killed on British soil. He was from a poor family which had moved to the seaside town for a better life. He was married with three children and a drummer in the Salvation Army. His third child only lived for a few months and complications from the birth lead to his wife dying. All three now share the same grave in a cemetery neaby.


In total 18 civilians were killed in the bombardment. I've visited some of the places that were bombed and to see some photos please go to the link at the foot of this page.